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Celebrating 10 years of Penny Cook Recruitment

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

As we mark the 10-year anniversary of Penny Cook Recruitment, the milestone has prompted a time of reflection for myself on how much things have changed since I started out in my recruitment career. It’s also reminded me of the reasons I love working in hospitality recruitment so much and what matters most to me in how we operate.

During my 20+ years in hospitality recruitment I have seen significant changes, the biggest one being the introduction of and advancements in technology. When I first started out, I was given a landline phone (not a mobile), a copy of the yellow pages, fax machine and The Caterer (magazine) as my tools of the trade – I kid you not. We then progressed onto being given a computer and the introduction of e-mails, then a laptop and mobile phone and now where I am today using online job sites, social media and cloud-based candidate & client management systems and databases.

Looking back, the changes, from starting my first recruitment consultant position to opening a new office for a then leading company, to becoming a company director and to setting up and running my own recruitment business in 2011, have been phenomenal.

Throw in a major recession, a company I was working for going under, the challenges of starting a new business at the tail end of a recession and a pandemic, it has often been a bumpy ride.

But one thing that remains the same is that hospitality recruitment is, and will always be, about people and relationships. My relationships with clients and candidates and the people I speak to are at the heart of everything I do. I still speak to clients and candidates I met over 20 years ago when I started my recruitment career. They have all progressed and developed their own careers and companies and many are now friends. I place huge personal and professional value on this.

Hospitality is a people business. You only get so much information from reading a CV - you get so much more from speaking to, meeting and getting to know the people you are representing, and I think that however much technology advances in the future this will never change in hospitality. Personality, character, attitude and drive are key traits we look for and these can’t be picked up through any number of algorithms, psychometric tests or on-line systems and processes.

I love what I do and my passion for people, for hospitality and for the job I do is the same today as my very first day working as a waitress and in a recruitment office.

Here’s to the next 10 years!


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